Ask TundraHQ: How Much Camper Weight Can My Truck Handle?
We regularly receive questions from readers via our contact form – here’s one that comes up quite a bit about in-bed truck campers and payload ratings.
I have a Toyota Tundra DoubleCab and I’m thinking about buying a 1,482lbs slide-in camper. My question is, What is safest weight I can haul in the bed of my Truck?
Here’s how to calculate your truck’s actual payload rating:
1. How To Calculate Actual Payload Capacity
You must subtract the weight of driver, passenger(s), the weight of any luggage or after-market accessories you’ve installed, etc. from the maximum payload rating shown in your vehicle manual. If you are hauling a trailer, you must subtract the trailer tongue weight (typically 10-15% of the total trailer weight) from the payload rating.
2. Camper Weight isn’t just what’s listed on the spec sheet. Most campers have both a dry weight and a wet weight listed on the spec sheet – you want to use the “wet” rating for your calculations, because most of the time that’s a more realistic weight estimate.
3. There’s some grey area beyond the actual max, but it’s pretty small. Some truck owners will go beyond their factory max payload rating with a problem, but these people usually invest in some additional load carrying equipment (typically rear air bags) and they drive accordingly.
While this shouldn’t be considered legal advice, you might want to think about the liability ramifications of driving around an overloaded truck…if you were to get in an accident while driving your overloaded pickup, all an attorney would need to prove is that you knew you were over the factory max and they could prove negligence. Then, you might be in a world of hurt (again, not legal advice, just something to think about).
4. Don’t be surprised if the camper you’re being sold is too big for your truck. A lot of trailer and camper salespeople have a nasty habit of selling people trailers or campers that are too big for their current vehicle.
By taking the time to calculate your truck’s actual payload capacity, you ensure that your vehicle will be both safe to drive and last as long as possible.
NOTE: If you have a 2011 Tundra, the factory payload rating reflects the average weight of common accessories as well as passengers…so you don’t have to deduct weight for passengers.
Filed Under: Tundra Towing